KUALA LUMPUR – Professional ethics, clear guidelines and sharing early information with the families of the patients help medical experts tackle brain death cases.
Director of the Legal and Ethics Department, Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) Dr Faizi Rosli said although there is no specific law for brain death cases like in other countries, the guideline drawn up by the MMC was comprehensive.
“The guideline is specific while an act is more general. With this guideline, it would help the medical expert make his assessment and decision in a case,” he told Bernama.
He was speaking after presenting a paper on ‘Neuroethics and Malaysian Medical Council : Clinical Guidelines and Ethical Perspective on Brain Death’ at the ICORS ‘Round Table Discussion : Neuroethics and the Biology of Consciousness’ here today.
Dr Faizi said the diagnosis of brain death would be made when the patient is in deep coma, is apneic and has been using life support machine for about 24 hours as well as suffered substantial brain damage.
“However, every assessment is made by two experts who have at least three years’ experience in assessing brain death.
“The confirmation of brain death must be done through two tests which are done every six hours before the time of death is confirmed,” he said.
Dr Faizi said so far, there had not been any cases which triggered public inquiries in court as the approach used by medical experts in Malaysia was ‘reasonable accommodation’.
“This includes informing the family early of all possibilities which the patient could face,,” he said.